On Gemini, science instruments are mounted at the cassegrain focus below the 8.2 meter primary mirror. The picture below shows a schematic of the telescope and specifically the bottom end where instruments are mounted. The f/16 telescope beam passes through the 1.18 meter diameter central primary hole, through the Acquisition &
The Observing Tool libraries contain "pieces" of observations e.g. commonly used configurations, sequences, standard calibrations and ancillary information which may be copy-and-pasted into a new observation. The intent of these libraries is to speed the development of new science programs. As observing procedures and instrumental configurations may change from semester to semester (installation of new GCAL filters, for instance), it is advisable that PIs download the most recent libraries when defining new observations.
Progress is being made at the University of Florida towards preparing T-ReCS for pre-ship acceptance tests prior to its delivery to Gemini. Although substantially improved, issues remain with flexure and elevated system noise. In addition, several key measurements such as the internal cryostat background and characterisation of the science-grade detector have yet to be carried out.
After three weeks of integration and testing on Cerro Pachon, T-ReCS was successfully mounted on the Gemini South telescope today. The initial on-telescope test results show the same detector and optical characteristics as measured in the lab. First-light is scheduled for early June.
Commissioning of the principal imaging mode of T-ReCS was completed during the most recent run in September and the first science data for several System Verification (SV) programs have been obtained. This milestone was the culmination of several runs in June, July and August, often fighting against poor winter weather (e.g. 15 nights out of the first 20 unusable for mid-IR observing).